Paul Everitt — How Adventure Had An Impact On My Life
This is the fourteenth in a whole series of interviews with all sorts of different people to show what effect adventure can have on your life. The aim is to show how even the smallest amount of adventure can impact your life no matter who you are or where you come from.
If you’d like to take part and have a good story with good pictures, please contact me via www.mattprior.co.uk
Next up is Mr Paul Everitt! Paul’s interviewed me and it’s time to reverse the roles!
He says he’s a plumber, tiler and adventure explorer, with a business card to prove it. When he’s not tinkering away with bathroom installations to fund the next journey you can find him working at events for Buff headwear. In the early 2000s he travelled the world working and backpacking at the same time in search of inspiration. It wasn’t until 2010 that his bigger adventures started. They include: Riding a Bikecar across various parts of the UK, Canada and the States, rafting the Mississippi on a hand built timber raft and various Kayaking trips in Scandinavia! This year he took a dinghy down the Danube!
In his spare time he chats to other people about their adventures here: Going Solo Adventures
Please could you give us a quick run down on your life before adventure played a part:
Life before I discovered this more “adventurous world” was simple, consistent and worth it’s weight in gold. From leaving school and completing my apprenticeship I spent my days as a plumbing heating engineer in the picturesque town of Great Grimsby. I worked hard as a partner for our family business. This career path placed plenty of opportunities before me but I slowly started to realise I was missing out on excitement of the unknown.
So in 2006 I downed my tools and said goodbye to plumbing in the UK and purchased a one way ticket to Australia via Canada and Fiji.
How and why did you get involved in all of this?
I was simply bored. Bored of the way of life I was living. I thought the backpacking lifestyle would give me the excitement I was needing, but sadly it didn’t. I worked and travelled in Australia for a year, New Zealand for a year and then Canada for a year… But I felt like a sheep following the predictable circuit of other fellow backpacking travellers.
“I was simply bored. Bored of the way of life I was living.”
“I felt like a sheep following the predictable circuit of other fellow backpacking travellers”
It wasn’t until the back end of 2009 that I started to rethink the way I wanted to see the world. Whilst sitting out a heavy thunderstorm in a Costa Rican rainforest. I started to reflect on a meeting with four lads who I’d previously met while living in the old Samesun Hostel in Banff, Alberta back in 2006. These four lads long boarded over 6500km from the east coast to the west coast of Canada… Who does this? People who take chances and live their life without regret do this.
I needed to do this, I needed to challenge myself more and I needed to discover the world in my own way and away from the flock of sheep.
So on another thundery night in the Costa Rican rainforest I designed my mode of transport, this was something that was not tried and tested, it was also something that would have a high failure rate due to its complexity.
One month later and back in England I focused all my energy, blood, sweat and tears into building my big crazy adventure dream. On May 1st 2010 I rolled my homebuilt bikecar on to the streets ready to take on Europe… and then eventually coast to coast of Canada and down the west coast of America.
“I rolled my homebuilt bikecar on to the streets ready to take on Europe”
How has adventure impacted your life?
Adventure has opened my eyes to so many new and amazing experiences that I wouldn’t have seen prior to this change in my life. It’s given me the confidence to realise anything is possible when you put 100% of your energy into it — from building a 4 wheeled 2 seated bicycle to creating a traditional timber raft to take on the Mississippi River.
What benefits has adventure brought specifically?
I think from the moment you start planning a trip you begin to see the benefits slowly unfold before you, then from the moment you execute your journey every day that follows will educate your mind from the thousands of experiences you gain.
Sharing — Being able to share what you’ve learnt with those around you and to encourage them to take on there own dreams and make them a reality, it’s a rather rewarding feeling.
“It’s given me the confidence to realise anything is possible when you put 100% of your energy into it”
“From the moment you execute your journey every day that follows will educate your mind from the thousands of experiences you gain”
Rewarding — Without a shadow of a doubt having a more adventurous life will make you an all round better person inside and out as you challenge yourself with whatever unknown path lies before you. I feel more confident to approach challenging situtations from which I may have backdown from in the past.
Friendship — Adventure gives you the opportunity for welcoming strangers into your life with stories you’ve collected from journey to journey, this is more valuable than money and as it often leaves you with new lifelong friends with more stories and memories to carry forward. Also reconnecting with old friends who just so happen to be on your journey’s path and reliving past memories over a beer and hearty meal is better than any Facebook conversation, period.
Wealth — A better understanding for the value of money so you can stretch your travels out to last longer and go further. You will soon re-evaluate the true meaning of what’s valuable to you over objects of consumption.
Love — A greater love and understanding for the wild while camping under the stars and passing through stunning landscapes. Having nature approach you and interact with its surroundings is a very humbling feeling.
“Without a shadow of a doubt having a more adventurous life will make you an all round better person inside and out as you challenge yourself with whatever unknown path lies before you.”
“You will soon re-evaluate the true meaning of what’s valuable to you”
And finally adventure has given me Kelly. For the last three years I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the world with my perfect adventure partner. Kelly and I have taken on some pretty big challenges together now and I really hope we have many more to come! Kayaking the Baltic Sea gave us a bond that will be hard to break as have our cycling journeys through Europe and our dinghy journey down the Danube River in Germany.
Why would you suggest others should get involved?
Simply because there’s a lot of cool things out there to discover and because there are some pretty awesome people who you never knew existed until they entered your life.
What would you say are the main excuses for not doing this sort of stuff and how would you suggest people overcome them?
I wouldn’t say there are any true excuses. Having a job, mortgage or family are no real reason to not get out there and explore more. A journey doesn’t have to be long and tough. A journey of adventure should be tailored to your needs and to what you want out of it, may that be over a long weekend, one month or longer. If you have a dog take them with you and toss it a stick in a new location everyday. If you have children involve them with every moment to educate them about the great outdoors. If you have a job book time off work and fill every day with awesomeness or if you hate your job just work hard, save some money and then quit and do what you truly want to be doing.
“If you hate your job, just work hard, save some money and then quit and do what you truly want to be doing.”
What’s next for you?
Well currently I’m working hard to fund the 2016 journeys. Both Kelly and I have a number of ideas we would love a crack at from canoeing the Yukon River or Mackenzie River to walking Norway with a few other bits and bobs in between. I will also continue my own Going Solo Adventures Q&A Sessions with fellow adventurers from around the world.
To get in touch with Paul or follow his exploits online: www.going-solo.co.uk
“You will soon re-evaluate the true meaning of what’s valuable to you”
Interested in your own adventure?